To feel full until lunchTwo eggs – 50p (based on £1.46 for six medium free-range eggs)
Studies show eggs for breakfast reduces calorie consumption throughout the day by up to 18%.
“That’s because they make you feel full for longer, cutting the desire to eat more,” explains Cheryl Wilson, head clinician at The Nutrition Coach (thenutritioncoach.co.uk).
Try boiled, poached or scrambled eggs with a slice of wholegrain toast.
To improve posture and help back painA ball of kitchen string – 50p (40m string ball from Wilkinson)
Chartered physiotherapist Sammy Margo says: “Every morning, stand tall and pull your tummy muscles in as far as you can. Now, release them by half. Tie the string around your middle – under your clothes – and keep it there all day.
“It acts a constant reminder to engage your core muscles, flattening stomach muscles, improving posture and helping to beat back pain.”
To beat the bloatMint leaves – 40p (based on 30g fresh mint leaves for 80p from Tesco)
Herbalists swear by mint for its anti-inflammatory effect on the gut, aiding better digestion and reducing bloat.
It also cleanses the mouth, zapping the nasty taste and furry tongue that often comes with it. Infuse some leaves in boiling water for a few minutes.
To get rid of verrucasDuct tape – around £1 (available from hardware shops)
Studies show that it can work better than freezing treatments.
It’s not known if it’s down to the tape preventing oxygen reaching the wart or verruca, or a component of the tape itself. Dr Annabel Bentley, Medical Director for Bupa Health and Wellbeing says: “Cover the wart or verruca with tape for six days. "Then remove the tape, soak the wart or verruca in water and rub with a pumice stone. "Leave it uncovered overnight and apply more tape the next morning. Continue until it disappears.”
To soothe a coughPanda All Natural Soft Liquorice Bar – 65p (from Holland & Barrett)
Liquorice root is used in various herbal cough suppressants and throat lozenges because it has expectorant, antiseptic, antiviral, antioxidant, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory benefits.
It’s thought to coat mucous membranes, helping to reduce inflammation and soothe a sore throat and tickly cough.
To ease heartburn and improve concentrationWrigley’s sugar-free chewing gum – rrp 49p
Scientists say the saliva stimulated by chewing gum seems to neutralise digestive acid and help force fluids back to the stomach. The study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, asked volunteers to chew sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after heartburn-inducing meals. Gum can help you stay focused for longer on tasks that require continuous monitoring, say Cardiff University researchers in a study published in the British Journal of Psychology.
To relieve hay feverVaseline – £1 (pocket-sized tin at Poundland)
Smear a small amount of Vaseline just inside your nostrils to catch the pollen, preventing it travelling further up the nose and triggering an allergic reaction, says Allergy UK (allergyuk.org).
Remove it every two hours with a tissue and apply again. If you prefer to take an antihistamine, don’t pay through the nose for big brands. Boots Value Health Non-Drowsy Hayfever and Allergy Relief tablets (99p for seven) contain the same 10mg of active ingredient Loratadine as market leaders that cost four times as much.
To ease sciaticaTennis ball – 20p (based on a pack of five for £1 at Poundland)
Tennis balls, the plastic spiky balls used for tumble dryers, or even a potato, are great for massaging tight buttocks and relieving the muscular pain of sciatica, explains Sammy. “Either sit on one or stand against a wall and place it against the affected area. By pressing into the muscle, the ball provides a pivot over which the muscles stretch. "This ‘digging in’ relieves the muscular tension. Repeat several times a day for maximum relief.”
To get a good sleepCherrygood Cherry juice – £1 (Asda)
A study from Northumbria University found that two daily glasses of Montmorency cherry juice helps you get an average 25 minutes extra shuteye a night by increasing levels of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep.
To soothe aching muscles and flatten your stomachCup (approximately 125g) of Epsom salts in bath water – 75p (based on 1kg bag at £5.95 from epsomsalts.co.uk)
The high magnesium content of Epsom salts means that they’re great for soothing sore, tired muscles and are popular with stars before red carpet events. Add one or two handfuls to a bath to draw out toxins and flatten your tummy.
To lower cholesterolHandful of almonds – 50p (based on Tesco Wholefoods Snack Pack, 50g for £1)
Unsalted nuts, like almonds, are high in protein and good mono saturated fats, explains Cheryl. Compared with other nuts, almonds contain the highest levels of six key nutrients – fibre, magnesium, protein, potassium, copper and vitamin E. Although renowned for their healthy heart benefits, one study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a daily portion of almonds could cut your bad LDL cholesterol levels by 30%.
To boost your fitness and lose weightPedometer – £1 (Poundland)
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, US, found that regularly using a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and weight loss and improvements in blood pressure.
After reviewing 26 studies involving 2,500 people who were mostly female, overweight and relatively inactive, the researchers found that pedometer users increased their physical activity by 2,491 steps per day and helped them increase their overall physical activity levels by 27%.